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Nov 3, 2008

Looking Ahead

Colin will be 5 weeks old this week. If I were following normal rules, I'd be going back to "work" in a little over a week.

I'm conflicted about this. The decision to take the semester off was one of the most difficult of my life. I have a rock solid support group in my class and leaving them was hard on all of us. Even though it is only a year (due to another semester that I'll have to sit out before residency), I am already older than most of my classmates and I am anxious to actually practice medicine. To do what I've been working towards all these years. Patrick and I did not plan for Colin to be born when he was. Having children was always in our long term plans, but I did not anticipate becoming a mother before becoming a doctor. Oh, fate, you silly thing.

However, since Colin's birth, my life has totally changed (obviously) and I can't imagine doing this any other way. I see everything in a different light now, always looking through the filter of motherhood. Though I am physically healed, I cannot imagine leaving Colin yet - I am not ready. I am so, so grateful that the heavens intervened and arranged for me to have three months with Colin before returning to "work". I love the term "the 4th trimester" to describe this time, because it really does feel like we're still connected. He still needs me so much, and, for now, I exist solely to care for him.

My mother was a SAHM with my younger two sisters, but she went back to work with me and the Baby Mama. I have some of the best memories of my childhood from the babysitters, which is not at all a criticism of mothers (like mine) who work outside the home but of how formative and positive a babysitter or day care can be. Patrick and I recently found our day care provider, an in-home arrangement just like I had growing up. I am grateful for the opportunity to give Colin some experience outside of his parents, but I am also terrified to leave him.

All this anxiety and worry, though, and I still can't wait to get back to "work". I have been so jealous of my friends who continued, though, of course, I wouldn't trade Colin or my time with him for anything. I devour their stories and experiences and am dying to get back to my training. Though I am kept so busy with Colin, it is only my hands that are busy, while my brain is ticking away the days on the side of my head. January is coming fast; my heart is savoring every moment with Colin, my head is looking forward to finally facing the challenges of third year. Colin has changed everything for me, not the least of which is making me want to be the best mother, the best wife, the best student, and the best doctor that I can be. I want him to be proud of me, as I am already so proud of him. I know that I will be a better doctor because of him, but I hope also to be a better mother because of my work.

1 Readers rock!:

Mindy said...

That is so sweet! I don't think there will ever be a perfect answer to the work vs. time-at- home challenges. We had the best nanny the first year I went back to work. My son loved her and she will always be a part of our family. It was good for him and for us.